The Sneaky Trio Keeping the Pounds On: Booze, Soda, and Your Chair!

If current trends continue, experts estimate that 42 percent of U.S. citizens will be sufficiently overweight to be considered obese by the year 2030. This alarming development may be attributed to three major factors that are within our control – alcohol consumption, sugar drinks, and lack of physical activity.

Alcohol Consumption

You likely don’t realize it, but if you’re like many Americans, you consume, on average, 100 calories of alcohol daily. Since it takes about 3,500 calories to fuel the body’s production of a pound of fat, over the course of a year, the average alcohol consumption contributes to more than 10 extra pounds of body fat.

Many people are not aware that their alcohol intake is contributing to their weight problem. Consequently, alcohol calories often go unnoticed, especially when drinking beer or wine, as most do not realize these beverages possess the same amount of calories as a can of soda.

Sugar Drinks

In addition to alcohol, the consumption of sugar in soft drinks and fruit juices also contributes to weight problems. Every year, Americans consume a staggering 13.8 billion gallons of soda, fruit punch, sweet tea, sports drinks, and other sweetened beverages, leading to increased obesity and diabetes rates in the United States.

Research shows that soft drink consumption is linked to an increased risk of problems such as high blood pressure and stroke. However, opting for diet soda as a healthier alternative may not be effective. Research indicates that diet soft drink users experience 70 percent greater increases in waist circumference compared to those who never consume the drinks. Furthermore, diet drinks may increase your risk for diabetes as lab studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can lead to significantly increased blood sugar levels.

Lack of Physical Activity

Our increasingly sedentary lifestyles present a significant reason for our weight gain. With many of us spending long hours sitting at work, a short walk during a lunch break or after work is not sufficient to offset our inactive time.

Researchers now believe you need to take about 6,000 steps daily to effectively control your weight and maintain your health. This means incorporating more activity into your daily routine and not just relying on a brief walk. Researchers in Brazil found that taking 6,000 steps a day is necessary to reduce the risk of diabetes and control weight. Additionally, this amount of activity is required to lower your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Some experts even argue that 10,000 steps a day should be the target.

The Path to Weight Control

In the fight against excess weight, it is crucial to limit sugary beverages and alcohol consumption while making an effort to increase daily physical activity. Adopting these lifestyle changes may not be a complete solution to weight control; however, without them, it can prove near impossible to shed and keep off excess body fat.